Whether the sun is shining, or it’s pouring rain, swapping out Winter’s dark layers for the light, bright shades of Spring puts a smile on your face. A favorite sundress or a new lipstick lifts your mood as quickly as a good espresso enjoyed outside on a first sunny morning.
But more than a burst of color to brighten your day, finding your personal style, that look that translates your sensibilities to the outside world, is an integral part of your sense of épanoui. Little personal touches here and there can make you feel like a million bucks.
This season features tried and true trends – military, florals, little white dresses – along with simple, bold new shapes orchestrated by designers such as Phoebe Philo at Céline and Christophe Decarnin at Balmain. There’s a nice, neutral palette at work (white, beige, khaki, denim) offering the ideal backdrop for your favorite colors and personal accessories.
Here’s a grab bag of ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
1. Play with prints.
My addiction to prints started the evening my mother slipped into her Yves Saint Laurent black crepe evening dress strewn with red half moons. Prints are so good at inviting you to take a second look, losing yourself in the swirls, the patterns and the colors.
Kate Sheldon Dubas, former Couture buyer for Neiman Marcus, and President and CEO of Fashioneering, LLC explains, “prints are personal.” Rely on them to convey a particular mood or sensibility and add interest to your look.
Kate and I loved the Liberty collection for Target recently (target.com). The patterns, design, quality and pricing add up to a noteworthy collection. It’s not too late to scoop up some clothes and homeware on line.
You can also get your dose of Liberty from M.A.C.’s new Spring make-up collection Give Me Liberty (maccosmetics.com). What a day-brightener to get out a peacock and flower-printed lipstick case instead of the usual black!
2. Imagine yourself on the beaches of Normandy.
Since it was sent down the runway with bold shoulders and sequined embroidery, the sailor stripe is having another moment. Whether you opt for the classic or the embellished, it’s a fool-proof Spring staple.
Coco Chanel was the first to turn a traditional fisherman’s jersey into a relaxed, seaside look appropriate for the ladies who lounged in Deauville, the still chic seaside resort in Normandy.
J. Crew has partnered with the Saint James knit company (based in Normandy since 1889) to offer their authentic, nautical tee this season, a unisex version in navy or white (jcrew.com).
3. Discover some mouth-watering finds.
The easiest way I’ve stumbled upon to brighten my day this season are Chanel’s new Rouge Coco lipsticks. It was hard not to be tempted by the gorgeous ad campaign featuring French actress and chanteuse Vanessa Paradis (also wife to Johnny Depp in one of the best French-American unions going).
After wearing lip gloss for so long, I’m rediscovering the pleasure of feeling like a femme fatale. Just be sure to pick a color which works with your skin’s undertones. The queen of wearable make-up Bobbi Brown advises choosing a color near to that of your own lips.
A shot of color on your lips, what about a bright bag on your hips? Designer Jérôme Dreyfuss opened his first stateside boutique in Soho a few weeks ago. He does color the way only the Europeans know how, offering eye-catching hues that are still chic (473 Broome St., New York, 212 334 6920, jerome-dreyfuss.com).
Bouquets aren’t meant for wearing, but it’s impossible to resist the temptation of dressing up the living room with a bright bunch of blooms. Caroline Bailly’s L’Atelier Rouge in Soho takes floral and event design to a new level (270 Lafayette St., New York, 212 226 4636, latelierrouge.com ).
If these Spring ideas have gotten your mouth watering, or you need a new lunch idea, pay a visit to mid-town East eatery Delectica. This neighborhood cafe features fresh, quality ingredients with a Mediterranean spin (564 Third Ave., New York, 212 986 1616, delectica.com).
Starting this Saturday, April 10, Delectica will be showing the food photographs Leslie Kobrin captured during her past year of travel in Paris, London and Seoul (thel-list.com). Her goal is to transport you out of your daily routine for a moment of visual enjoyment and maybe leave you a little hungry along the way…
* in full bloom